There is a shake-up in the diplomatic missions following the appointment of five diplomats who are going to replace the incumbents, The Nation has established.
The diplomats, appointed by President Peter Mutharika, include doctor-cum-politician Hetherwick Ntaba who replaces Bernard Sande in United Kingdom, Thoko Banda who replaces Dr Brave Ndisale in Brussels and Brian Bowler – who was former ambassador to the United Nations (UN) and ambassador to the United States of America (USA) – returns to replace Charles Msosa.
Former Cabinet minister Margaret Roca Mauwa has been appointed High Commissioner to South Africa where she replaces Stella Ndau while Frazer Nihoriya becomes consul general in Johannesburg, replacing Naomi Saukira who held the post in an acting capacity for over two years.
Charles Namondwe, who was at one time ambassador to China during former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika’s regime and also director of State residences at some point, heads back to the same country as ambassador to replace Ernest Mungosauka Makawa.
The appointments mean that the incumbent foreign diplomats have been recalled, pending requests from the Treasury.
In a letter addressed to chairperson of the Public Appointments Committee (PAC) of Parliament, Lingson Belekanyama, dated August 20 2014, which The Nation has seen, the President is requesting Belekanyama and his 20-member team to confirm the names for the various posts.
Belekanyama confirmed receiving the letter and said the committee will hold interviews for the positions on Monday and Tuesday next week.
“I can confirm that I have received a letter for diplomatic postings and, as PAC, we will hold interviews and give our recommendations to the President after the interviews,” he said.
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance, Nations Msowaya said:
“Treasury has a budget line for postings and recalls from foreign missions. Actually, the provisional National Budget of 2014/15 had K33 million set aside for staff repatriations and postings from foreign missions.”